There was a scary pamphlet in the mail waiting for me when I got home today:

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Apparently some greedy developer is planning to build a six storey apartment block in bucolic, semi-rural West Melbourne. Six stories! Can you imagine?

Setting the sarcasm aside, I found this completely exasperating. The proposed development site is a few hundred metres from the central business district of the second largest city in the country. It’s a few minutes walking distance to a major train station, and near a tram line. It’s on King St, a major thoroughfare through the city. You can’t claim that this is in some sleepy backwater suburb, ill-served by existing transport infrastructure. If anywhere is equipped to handle a six storey apartment, it’s this area.

This is where the proposed development is located:

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If we can’t have more density in West Melbourne, much of which was formerly light industrial and commercial and is right near the centre of the city, where can we have it?

If these sort of campaigns by resident objectors are successful, they come at a cost. Housing will be more expensive, and we’ll push the frontiers of our suburbs ever further outward. I don’t think that’s a trade-off worth making.

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